San Diego

Man Involved in Border Patrol Pursuit Charged for Smuggling Immigrants Illegally Into U.S.

The driver of an SUV involved in a pursuit with Border Patrol agents over the weekend is being accused of attempting to smuggle immigrants illegals across the border.

A complaint was filed against Miguel Angel Tejada on Tuesday alleging that he violated the immigration laws in the U.S. and knew that certain people he was transporting in the vehicle were in the country illegally.

Six other people, including a juvenile was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. 

The incident began around 11:40 p.m. Sunday when a Border Patrol agent was alerted to a Ford Expedition through a seismic intrusion device near Otay Mesa. He tried to stop a Ford Expedition on Otay Mesa Road.

The driver, who refused to pull over for the BP agent, continued onto SR-125 and leading to a pursuit.

During the pursuit, the vehicle slammed into a guardrail and went over an embankment.

Tejada and six people inside the SUV were injured and taken to nearby hospitals, according to a Border Patrol agent. 

According to the complaint, Hector Cruz, Martel Juarez, Cesar Meraz, Avelino Portillo, all Mexican citizens, were released from the hospital and taken into custody at the Chula Vista Processing Center.

They all stated they were illegally present in the U.S. and did not have any immigration documents. They admitted they were going to pay between $1,000 to $5,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.

Meraz and Portillo identified Tejada as the driver of the vehicle.

According to the complaint, "Meraz stated when Tejada saw the lights and heard the siren behind them, Tejada deliberately sped up and purposely jerked the wheel of the vehicle to cause it to roll over."

The juvenile and another person are still in the hospital.

You can read the full complaint here.

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